Announcement of the Six/Four System

A Hacktivismo/cDc presentation at H2K2

Within the next month, Hacktivismo is going to release a new P2P
tunneling protocol, called The Six/Four System. The name Six/Four
is a reference to June 4th, the night in 1989, when the Chinese army
invaded Tiananmen Square and massacred thousands of their own citizens.

The Six/Four System is a tribute to their memory. Those citizens were
unarmed and peaceful demonstrators, most of them young students. They
were gunned down for conducting a nonviolent demonstration, voicing their
support for democratic reform, an end to state-sponsored censorship and
control of information, and greater transparency in government. And today,
we hope that The Six/Four System will be a new way to help democracy- and
freedom activists everywhere in achieving some of these goals.

So, here's how it works.

The Six/Four System is a flexible protocol framework rather than just one
single application. It is a protocol designed for tunneling information.
It creates anonymous, secure and decentralized tunnels for its users, in a
transparent way, making any information and any service which is publicly
available on the internet accessible to everyone. And this from everywhere,
no matter if censorship, content filtering and/or surveillance systems are
in place -- while upholding the user's safety and privacy.

The Six/Four protocol is a decentralized P2P protocol, which is why it is
rendering censorship based on access control and firewalling useless.

It employs two mandatory layers of strong encryption, making use of
specially trusted end-nodes in the network, protecting against
surveillance, hostile peers, and content-based filtering.

And it employs reliable, yet fully anonymous routing, making it pretty
much impossible to do things like traffic analysis, and subversion of
information on the network through man-in-the-middle attacks.
Again, this assures privacy.

I'll briefly explain trusted end-nodes, as they are a core concept of
Six/Four. These are the only peers which can read the connection between
Six/Four peers and the public free Internet. Clients chose a Trusted Peer
as a sort of gateway at the other end of the Six/Four network, and double
encrypt all information they exchange with public Internet sites using
the public key of their Trusted Peer of choice. Keys and reputation of
Trusted Peers must be approved by HACKTIVISMO members, and verified by
Six/Four users. There will be limited numbers of Trusted Peers, and people
who run them have to meet certain criteria. Ultimately, we do need
contributors with permanent servers to establish a solid infrastructure.
But we're going to require high standards. If you think you will be
qualified for running one of these babies, don't hesitate to contact us.
Your contribution could be very important.

Now, to the most interesting part. What existing applications and protocols
can use The Six/Four System for tunneling their data in real time,
anonymously, encrypted, and without a chance of censorship? Well, Ladies and
Gentlemen, the answer is: Any public protocol! That's right, any standard
TCP- or UDP- based application protocols could be tunneled. You do this
either through a Six/Four tunneling proxy -- some of those universal proxies
are in development, such as TCP redirectors, HTTP proxies, SOCKS proxies,
etc., which actually tunnel through Six/Four rather than using direct,
plaintext TCP. Another approach is to use the Six/Four Developer's API to
re-write existing clients, such as browsers, mail clients, chat clients,
dns clients and libraries -- whatever -- this means they'll no longer use
a TCP or UDP socket but a Six/Four socket to tunnel to one known Trusted Peer
and then to their original destination. Fully transparent for the user! And,
the really sexy thing is that any such application is both a client in the
foreground, and at the same time Six/Four peer in the background. Which
means, anyone running any such application automatically contributes to
the Six/Four network infrastructure.

Finally, the underlying protocol of The Six/Four System was made for
tunneling, data forwarding and proxying. Which doesn't mean that it has to
be limited to this. It can be hacked and to aid many human rights and
pro-freedom goals in countless ways! With a modified Trusted Peer, Six/Four
users FROM the "free world" side could tunnel reverse, INTO a totalitarian
country and access information put up on a modified Trusted Peer, enabling
oppressed citizens or human rights workers in those countries to publish
and get out important information to the outside world. Six/Four is a
flexible and minimalistic protocol. This was one example, and for the
coders in here, only your imagination and skills will set its limits.

We'll officially release The Six/Four System in a few weeks. There will be
documentation including low-level protocol specs, a stable reference
implementation of the protocol, providing an easy API for developers, and
a range of reference applications and tunneling proxies.

The Six/Four System can improve free access to information everywhere,
provides privacy, freedom from government control, can aid human rights
workers and help getting out information from totalitarian countries.

So as you can see, there's a straight line from human rights work and
democracy to the hacker community. And make no mistake: Democracy and Freedom
are under siege on the Internet. Hacktivismo has made a commitment to fight
against control of the Internet, against censorship, against corrupt
governments and certain software companies propping them up.

We hope you'll join us. Thank you.